Tree Moving UT Austin, TX


Traveler extraordinaire
Mar 7, 2005
Austin, TX
Awesome living in a tree hugging city where they move trees.

My sister works in the building being demolished. They did cut down the other 4 trees.

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Neat, but... what a spectacular waste of money. I would like to see that tree in a year or two to see if it was worth it.

Well, the first comment is - "I've seen UT do this for other trees on campus during renovation/construction projects. In my tenure here, I have not seen any of those trees die. I guess UT knows how to do the job right. "

Maybe it'll do ok.
Cool vid. Looks like there were no overhead utilities to deal with at least.
Neat, but... what a spectacular waste of money.


Tom, when you consider all factors, I think we might see that the tree moving is well worth the cash. You might say, "heck...I coulda removed the tree for a tenth of the cost of moving the tree." But there is a lot to be said for having a large already established tree, especially on a college campus where a lot of people make decisions on whether or not to attend based on the "feel" of the campus. Many colleges rely on trees to create that "feel."

Then add to it the shade given by that tree. We all know that tree shade will reduce cooling costs and energy consumption, but you also have to consider, especially in TX, having a place where people can gather outside.

Then add water reclamation to that. Most storm water runs down streets and gutters and then have to be treated by whichever governing body is in charge of storm water runoff management. A tree of that size can easily hold 30,000 gallons of water or more in and around it's root system. If there were no tree there, most of the water would continue down the human made stream, costing all tax payers more money.

Then add the fact that areas with trees show lower crime rates. There MIGHT be a connection there, and there may be something monetary that we could evaluate.

Finally, it keeps the tree huggers happy. I'm sure that is important on a college campus! :P

Just don't want you runnin' around thinking that it's a bunch of people with too much money itching for something to spend it on.

Thank you Nathan, very good show.

On the UT campus I saw some astounding trees, including one deodara cedar that was just immense. I lay under it and shot an upward pic showing its architecture, and used the pic on my wedding stationery. Nice having a wifelet who also likes trees.

i cringed a bit seeing that backhoe scrape the dirt off the bottom of the rootball, but hey they no doubt have a bed of loam waiting for it.
Howdy, y'all. I recorded this video.
To answer some of your questions:
They did not simply cut down all the other trees in front of ESB. They moved at lease 3 big oaks using the same methods. They cut down a couple trees which had roots growing into the piping system. I heard that it cost $100,000 for all the trees to be moved. They will be replanted and the University has been successful at replanting large old trees. A climber did not unhook the slings. They were attached to the base with huge U-locks. There were some overhead utilities...mainly streetlights which were taken down to make room for the move.
All in all it was an impressive and successful operation. I believe it was worth it because I love the old trees on campus and it was uplifting to see the University make the effort!
Feel free to ask more questions...I'll answer those that I can.
Cheers, tree lovers!

Here's a link to a pic of the other trees in their temporary locations after being removed from the south side of ESB:

So your saying that the trees were dug up, moved to a temp place, then later moved a second time? Why was this?
We have trees here where I work that were dug, boxed, set aside, and have been waiting (for over 7 years) for funding for the construction project to get approved. The construction is happening as we speak and the trees, after all this time, will get planted this spring!

Dave- I don't know if you're thinking of the same tree. Old Glory was right at the entrance of a new development/gated community. Protestors wanted a split road that would have people drive around the tree to enter/leave each day. An awesome idea, I think. Look up the tree from the movie "The War" and you'll see what I'm talking about.

As it ended up, the developers paid to have the tree moved about a quarter mile down the road into a park where it still lives today, though I haven't seen it in about half a year. I should check...

Good work on those. Live oaks are tough; I've seen bigger ones moved at disney and golf courses.